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Programs for youth

In 2020, UNFPA continued to work closely with the Government of Ukraine, in particular with the Ministry of Youth and Sports. 

During the year, a number of important documents were developed and joined by UNFPA: 

  • The National Youth Strategy of Ukraine until 2030 
  • The Concept of the state social target program Youth of Ukraine for 2021-2025 
  • Draft Law No. 3718 on the Foundations of Youth Policy 

UNFPA conducted a needs assessment to update the training module Healthy Lifestyle of Youth during COVID-19 for the Youth Worker Programme, which is implemented with the support of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNDP Ukraine. 

The Youth Policy in Ukraine: Policy, Practice, Analytics Project, developed in partnership with UNICEF and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, aimed to provide effective policies and practical tools for youth, particularly at the village, city and community levels was also launched.

National study ‘Awareness and attitudes of teachers and parents toward comprehensive sexuality education’

In 2020, UNFPA conducted a study ‘Awareness and attitudes of teachers and parents toward comprehensive sexuality education’. The results of the study were presented at the Conference ‘Implementation of comprehensive sexuality education and the principles of gender equality: prospects in Ukraine in the 21st century’, held in partnership and with participation of the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) of Ukraine, Embassy of Finland, UNFPA’s Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, national advocates and representatives of non-governmental organisations working in the area of sexual and reproductive health education. 

The Conference participants prepared a Resolution with proposals for the Ministry of Education and Science to establish an Interagency Working Group to develop and further implement the Concept of Comprehensive Sexuality Education of Children and Youth in Ukraine taking into account the criteria proposed by the Conference participants, and to consider the possibility of including in the Professional Standards for ‘Primary School Teacher of General Secondary Education’, ‘General Secondary Education Teacher’ a list of professional competencies, knowledge and skills related to comprehensive sexuality education.

  • 84% of parents and 83% of teachers believe that comprehensive sexuality education should be introduced in schools  
  • The vast majority of both parents (65%) and teachers (73%) consider teaching human sexuality at school to be equally important compared to other subjects 
  • 88% of parents want the school to help with their child’s sexuality education
  • 80% of teachers require defined formats of teaching and support materials for sexuality education classes (participation in sexuality education course, trainings in approaches and methods of conducting relevant classes).

More about study and findings here. 

The Youth Well-Being Index

The Youth Well-Being Index (YWBI) is a comprehensive index that comprises 49 indicators and allows to assess the level of youth welfare in cities. 

In 2020: 

  • 7 new cities, namely Mariupol, Melitopol, Kherson, Lutsk, Ternopil, Dnipro, Odesa, joined the Project and started to determine the YWBI;
  • More than 3,000 young people took part in the survey on YWBI;  
  • 58 local and national businesses became Project partners, providing each young respondent with a promo code to receive a gift.

It should be recalled that that since 2019, YWBI has been also determined in Kremenchuk, Lviv and Mykolaiv.

NEW PACT FOR YOUTH – 2025 IS FOR SUCCESSFUL FUTURE OF THE YOUTH AND UKRAINE

The Pact for Youth is a national partnership initiative aimed at combining the efforts of the Government, business and education sector in tackling youth unemployment. 

In 2020, the five-year implementation of the Pact for Youth initiative came to an end, bringing together more than 149 employers, which together created more than 45,000 jobs for young people. In addition, 100 forums, round tables and trainings were held with the participation of 3,000 young people, educators and employers. CSR Europe recognized the initiative as one of the best practices for young people in Europe, and the UN global initiative Decent Jobs for Youth named the Pact one of the best examples in the world for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. 

Given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the updated Pact for Youth – 2025 sets out new objectives and priorities that will focus on promoting career mentoring for young people by employers. The new Pact for Youth – 2025 has already been signed by more than 20 partners, including the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture, the Ministry of Education and Science, UKRSIBBANK, KPMG, Alfa-Bank, lifecell, Decathlon Ukraine, Lactalis, Ukrtelecom, Coca-Cola Beverages Ukraine Limited, Metinvest Holding, Reikartz Hotel Group, KredoBank, Auchan Retail Ukraine, Nestlé, Raiffeisen Bank Aval, Servier Ukraine, Arzinger, Credit Agricole Bank, logistics company Raben Ukraine, Procter & Gamble and EY Ukraine.

HEALTHY CHALLENGE 2020

Healthy Challenge, an all-Ukrainian program aiming to promote a healthy lifestyle among young people in quarantine caused by the spread of COVID-19, continued its work in 2020 and covered:

42 professional pre-higher and vocational and technical education institutions in Zakarpattia, Lviv, Volyn, Poltava, Rivne, Sumy, Khmelnytsky, Chernihiv and Cherkasy Oblasts of Ukraine 

12,000 young people and more than 32,000 teachers and residents of these Oblasts 

Vocational and technical education institutions competed with each other, presenting their mini-projects and activities aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle. All projects envisaged the protection of mental and physical health, prevention of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. 

The program also included:

21-day all-Ukrainian online marathon for young people #HealthyChallenge2020 (more than 4,500 young people from different regions of Ukraine were involved)

3-week all-Ukrainian challenge marathon for young people ‘Dream. Plan. Don’t Slow Down!’ (579 participants were involved).

PROSKILLS OF THE FUTURE

The PROskills of the Future program* is an educational and creative training program aimed at developing young people’s super-professional skills of the XXI century related to creative and critical thinking, awareness of the future, ability to design individual and collective strategies, as well as co-creation, cultural diversity and peacekeeping. The program was approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and is designed for after-school, extracurricular, elective activities of facilitators, psychologists, social educators working with adolescents aged 14-17 in children’s health and recreation facilities, vocational schools, secondary and out-of-school education institutions.

In 2020, under the PROskills of the Future program, 2 trainings were held for 62 camp counselors, psychologists, teachers and methodologists of summer camps, youth centers and out-of-school education institutions from the Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts. The trained trainers continued their activities in camps online and offline, reaching more than 200 adolescents, most of whom were vulnerable adolescents, including those living near the contact line.  

SKILLS LABS

Skills Labs are innovative trainings in career development and self-employment skills, aimed at strengthening career competencies of young people and increasing the level of youth employment in Ukraine. This year, Skills Labs were held in 13 Oblasts of Ukraine and covered more than 300 young people. 

In view of the new challenges during the pandemic and in order to ensure sustainability, the Skills Lab: Skills for Successful Career program was launched through the online platform Impactorium, and more than 1,200 young people from all over Ukraine registered for the course.

This year, with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, a comprehensive course on improving career skills was also developed, based on the training programs Skills Lab: Successful Career and Own Business, aimed at developing VET graduates’ professional growth skills, as well as competencies to build own business.

SkillsLab 2020: Self-employment*

90 young people aged 15-24, mostly VET students and graduates from Mariupol, Melitopol, Berdiansk and other settlements located along the coast of the Sea of ​​Azov, the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, participated in a 3-month online training in starting own business under the program SkillsLab 2020: Self-employment. The 75 most active program participants took part in two youth business forums held in Melitopol and Mariupol and presented to young people the opportunities for developing own business provided by relevant local authorities, international organizations, development agencies and local startup incubators.

SkillsLab 2020: Path to Success*

92 young people aged 15-24, mostly VET students and graduates from Mariupol, Melitopol, Berdiansk and other settlements located along the coast of the Sea of ​​Azov, the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, participated in the online training SkillsLab 2020: Path to Success, which provided an opportunity for young people to learn how to develop a career plan, prepare a CV, correctly apply the skills of critical and design thinking, as well as confidently attend interviews on the way to the dream job. The 72 best graduates of SkillsLab 2020: Path to Success from different areas of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk Oblasts attended two youth forums held in Melitopol and Mariupol, where, together with experts from various fields, young people discussed the current situation of young people in the labour market and found practical ways to get new opportunities for young professionals from the Azov region.

WORK WITH VULNERABLE YOUTH 

In 2020, UNFPA continued to support the Teenergizer youth movement. 

As part of working with vulnerable youth and young people living with HIV:

  • 100 support groups were held for 49 HIV-positive young people 
  • 94 educational activities on reproductive health and HIV infection were implemented for 2,151 adolescents from schools and VET institutions
  • More than 8,000 young people aged 14–22 received information about HIV testing, of which 180 got tested 
  • 105 young people participated in an internship program under Teenergizer 
  • 5,666 young people from four cities visited the Teenergizer website and received educational information on HIV, reproductive health and sexuality education.

MYROPOLIS 

Myropolis*, a youth forum launched in 2019 as part of the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, continued its wonderful history! This year, 15 young people  -participants of the 2019 forum, as well as youth activists from Triokhizbenka, Pokrovsk, Kramatorsk, Soledar and Severodonetsk, first were trained in project activities, and then successfully implemented 5 creative projects in their communities: team building for leaders of youth councils in the Donetsk Oblast; arrangement of a music studio and holding a first festival in Soledar; a workshop on the art of peaceful protest in Triokhizbenka; integration of first-year students (including young people from the non-Government controlled areas) into the educational environment of the Donetsk National Technical University in Pokrovsk in the context of COVID-19; as well as establishment of a training workshop and awareness-raising activities for young people on plastic processing in Severodonetsk. About 200 local girls and boys in five communities of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts were involved in the projects.

Symbols and notes

Asterisk (*) – activity implemented within the framework of the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme. The UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme is implemented by four UN Agencies: the UN Development Program (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 

The Programme is supported by twelve international partners: the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the US Embassy to Ukraine, as well as the Governments of Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden and Japan.

2 asterisks (**) – activity implemented under the EU 4 Gender Equality: Together Against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-Based Violence Programme, funded by the European Union and implemented jointly by UN Women and UNFPA.

3 asterisks (***) – activity implemented under the Institution Building Programme Equality Springboard, implemented with the financial support of Sweden.

Results in 2019

Pact for youth - 2020

The issues of youth employment and their ability to fulfill the potential in their community - one of the priority areas of our activities. In 2016, we became part of the "Ukrainian Pact for Youth-2020" initiative, initiated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the for Corporate Social Responsibility Center. The initiative aims to combine the efforts of companies, the state and the education facilities to address the youth employment issue. By signing the document, top managers of companies are committed to promoting the creation of at least 700 partnerships between businesses and the education sector, providing 50,000 places for internships and first-time youth work by 2020, and providing 1,000 young people with mentoring support to build a career.

The Ukrainian Pact is being implemented within the framework of the European Pact for Youth and is one of the most active initiatives in Europe. Today, the initiative in Ukraine brought together 100 companies from 14 regions, which created 442 partnerships between business and the educational sector and jointly provide 22,617 positions for internships and first employment for youth.

Business and Youth forums: WOW-effect of cooperation

Jointly with our partners, we organize meetings of young people with representatives of employer companies. It is a platform where young people can obtain motivation to build a career and talk personally with top managers, and the businesses, in turn, can tell about the first employment opportunities. During 2017-2018, such forums have already been held in Kyiv, Kremenchuk, Odesa, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Lutsk, Zaporizhzhya, Lviv, Mariupol, Kherson, Chernihiv and Vinnytsya.

Skills Lab

Skills Lab is a specially designed youth empowerment program, in particular, involving vocational education facilities for the acquisition of the XXI century life skills, essential for young people in the modern labor market. The program is aimed at young people aged 16-35, seeking career development. The goal of Skills Labs is to develop communicative skills, critical thinking and teamworking skills of young people for successful professional progress. This program consists of 2 courses: successful career and own business, contributing to reducing labor migration and youth unemployment.

Skills Camp (Proskills)

Skills Camp is a specially designed program akin to Skills Lab in methodology, but targeting young people aged 12-16 from vulnerable populations. In addition to the development of critical thinking, communication skills and teamwork skills, the program fosters tolerance, non-discrimination and equality through interactive exercises based on the activities of sports camps.

Youth Wellbeing Index (YWI)

To create a simple and convenient tool for assessing the urban youth wellbeing, we have developed the YWI on the basis of global methods for constructing the development index and the well-being of young people. The calculation of the index is based on the use of data from official municipal statistics and youth opinion polls on the following components: education, health, economic opportunities, participation in political and public life, information and communication technologies, safety and security of life. The tool is useful for local authorities, youth centers and organizations that implement youth policy at the regional level.

Outcomes in 2018:

We believe that expanding economic opportunities for young people is a guarantee of better life choices and a more successful future. A lot of young people do not have access to opportunities that would allow them to properly earn a living. Even fewer young people have the opportunity to fully implement their potential.

We are working to solve this problem in Ukraine:

1) We create innovative training platforms - Skills Labs and Skills Camps, which provide young people with modern tools and skills for employment, entrepreneurship, leadership and a healthy lifestyle.

  • More than 300 young people have already gained knowledge and practical skills that will enable them to achieve better results in opening their own business, formal employment and building a career.

2) We link young people to real employment opportunities available on the market.

  • 40,000 young people received an internship or got their first job due to the Pact for Youth-2020 Initiative
  • 485 young people have access to the development of their economic opportunities and mentoring through the "Business and Youth: The WOW Effect of Collaboration" forums.

 

3) We engage businesses to creation of jobs and development of youth-friendly environment

  • 125 national and local companies have joined the Pact for Youth 2020 Initiative
  • HR specialists from more than 15 companies took part in seminars on "youth-friendly" and healthy environments in organizations.

 

4) We set up links between the authorities and the youth to develop the National Action Plan on Youth Employment

5) We develop modern instruments for measuring the Youth Wellbeing Index and provide tools for government agencies and officials to determine the youth needs which should be prioritized in terms of investments.